Weaving the Universe in Chiapas

Chiapas is a mystery and a land of contradictions. Geographically, it ranges from the deep, sweaty Lacandon rainforest to the high, cold, encircling Sierra Madres. Spiritually, it’s traditional Roman Catholicism with holy mass one day, and chicken sacrifices in the corner of the church the next. It’s European saints’ effigies dressed in layers of handwoven […]

And The Dead Start Jumping for Joy

Sometimes a scary story is just the thing. Sometimes doubling down on a messy reality with more of the same throws things into perspective. Know what I mean? The Maya were masters of the horrible. Not for them those sylph-like goddesses arising from seashells or descending from rainbows. Nope, their deities were more likely to […]

I Am Still Here

To know a Maya woman in Guatemala is to know resilience. A Maya woman has an undeniable strength, despite poverty, despite discrimination, despite the obstacles in her path. It is a strength that allows her to keep her children fed and to negotiate an uncertain future. This story of Maya artist Bartola Morales is an […]

Halfway to Heaven: Travels in Guatemala

heaven

In addition to writing stellar books herself, Thrums author Deborah Chandler has recommended many a good book to me, from the novels of Miguel Asturias to Diné bahane’: The Navajo Creation Story by Paul Zolbrod. Last fall she gave me a collection of poems, Seated on the Bank of the Yichk’u River by Maya writer […]

Celebrating Latino Culture

latino culture

Author Deborah Chandler (Traditional Weavers of Guatemala and A Textile Traveler’s Guide to Guatemala) was a recent guest at El Museo Latino in Omaha, Nebraska. She shared with us a little bit about the museum, its current exhibition, and her time there. Thanks, Deborah!     Thirty years ago, Magdalena Garcia was in graduate school […]

Feeling Like I can Fly: Storytelling through Design

This week’s blog comes straight from Guatemala! Madeline Kreider Carlson, Creative Director at Multicolores, sent us this beautiful dispatch about the newest creative work and education of the talented Maya rug-hooking artists of Multicolores. We continue to be amazed and inspired by their work and their lives. Thanks, Madeline. Many Colors, Many Stories In February […]

Mexico on my Mind

huipil, Chiapas, Mexico

Linda returned this week from further adventures in Mexico, another book in the offing. When you’ve been to a place so many times, you amass quite a collection of stories (and huipils!). Here’s an oldie but a goody from Linda’s travels in Chiapas. Enjoy! —Karen   Handmade in Chiapas, Mexico As Maya huipils go, those […]

Not a Cinco de Mayo Celebration

My Friends in Mexico

Around the world, especially here in the U.S., folks are donning sombreros and sipping margaritas in honor of Cinco de Mayo. While the world celebrates the 1862 victory of Mexico over French forces at the Battle of Puebla, oddly enough, it’s a little-celebrated event in Mexico itself. So on this fifth of May, we’ve decided […]

In the Beginning, Weaving a Story

TwinklingofanEye

“The relationship between weaving and storytelling is as old as time.” Carol Karasik wrote that, describing her book of folk tales, Maya Gods & Monsters. She also describes a mysterious thread that binds spoken and visual languages together. I like thinking of textiles as visual language. As Linda and I have been working on our […]

When the Dead Jump for Joy

day-of-the-dead

Can you make out the faces in this blurry old photo? I took it in the unlit interior of a headman’s one-room dwelling in a small Andean village about twenty-five years ago. They’re the skulls of his grandfathers, and his great-grandfather. He keeps them on a prominent shelf in his little hut, along with fresh […]

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